These financial advisors give newlyweds the ultimate wedding gift: financial compatibility – CNBC
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Before starting any planning around money, newlyweds should take a hard look at who they are and what they want out of life, financial advisors say.
“It’s important for you to sit down together and discuss your values — both as individuals, and then as a couple,” said certified financial planner Eric Roberge, founder of Beyond Your Hammock in Boston.
Roberge refers couples to an online list of values and asks them to consider, individually and jointly, what three to five values — such as community, growth, security — support the ideal vision for their lives. They can then use their shared values to drive joint financial decisions.
“Your values can, and should, inform the financial decisions you make,” Roberge said. “[If] their actions and financial choices do not align with that value, people find themselves in a cycle where no matter how much their financial situation improves, they never feel like they’ve ‘made it’ or they always feel like they’re missing something.”
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For Zak Bouck, managing principal at Denver Wealth Management in Greenwood Village, Colorado, “the three main things in marriage are: communication, communication, communication.”
“I often see couples come in with conflicting preconceived notions about every financial decision,” he said.
Bouck facilitates couple discussions with a deck of cards representing different priorities, asking the spouses to choose their individual top five. Asking each spouse separately makes them feel “heard,” he said.
Building financial awareness together
Brian Mercado, a CFP with JSF Financial in Los Angeles, also focuses on helping spouses understand themselves better. He has couples fill out a detailed worksheet of what they think they’re spending on their budget. Then he runs reports of the actual numbers, which often show a very different picture.
“We usually find it’s the little things that add up,” Mercado said. “It’s an awareness campaign.”
Pertinent topics for newlyweds, he said, include how or whether to merge their finances, tax filing (joint versus separate) and employee benefits (e.g., whose are better for which situations).
Mercado also does a joint education session — meant to bring both partners up to speed — on the importance of saving and investing (informed by the previously completed budget worksheet), investing principles (why invest, time horizons, allocation, inflation protection, etc.), and the meaning of financial terms such as “stock market” and “bonds.”
Marriage is also a good time to look at life insurance, said …….
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